Opening Ceremony – Learning Hub

Dear Friends of Kinderhilfe-Kapstadt

The long-awaited occasion finally arrived … May 17, 2024! The opening of the new Imizamo Yethu Learning Hub took place in glorious sunshine! It was a wonderful and happy event with over 100 guests in attendance.

Alderman Andrew, Deputy Mayor of Cape Town – as well as Hout Bay City Councillor Roberto Quintas, and other repre-senttatives of education and development attended …. plus parents, sponsors and friends.

Charl van der Walt, son of the founder, who is also Chairman of SEEDS Trust, summarised the history of Little Lambs and the long road to the completion of the new building for the Learning Hub. He expressed heartfelt appreciation of the supporters who, over the years, have aided and enabled the success of this whole project – culminating in the completion of the new Afterschool Care Centre.

Elke Zwicker, leader of the project, also expressed her appreciation of the efforts of Marlis Schaper.

She gave a special and huge ‘thank you’ to the loyal sponsors for the trust placed in Marlis and herself – and for providing ongoing financial support – without which this essential project could not have been achieved. Elke gave deserved praise and recognition to the two architects, Ivan Jonker and Andrian Marais. She also praised the dedication and professionalism of the building contractor, Tony D’Ambrosio from ‘Bambana Management’ – as well as to the many others involved in the successful completion of this construction in just 6 months.

Sara Clarke, the new manager of the IY Learning Hub, talked of the purpose of the Hub i.e. to offer the primary school pupils of Imizamo Yethu township a safe, secure and stimulating after-school care centre in their township; her motto being “Discover and learn new things with fun and games….. thus “learning by
playing” – a policy which is largely missing in local school lessons. The focus is encourage these children to develop their academic potential and to be emotionally, socially, spiritually and intellectually guided.

The Grade “R” children from Little Lambs, the studentsof the IY Learning Hub, the choir of the Sakhisizwe Youth Development Program and all guests joined in singing the national anthem. Thereafter, the students gave an enthusiastic dance performance which was appreciatively applauded by all.

Official opening by the Alderman Andrew, Deputy Mayor of Cape Town, Elke Zwicker SEEDS Trust and Hout Bay City Councillor Roberto Quintas

Speeches by two Mothers, Ellen Phiri and Irene Magija, centred on their heartfelt appreciation of the benefits to their children from attending Little Lambs – especially that they were learning English so well.

The Mothers acknowledged that they had not learned English at school – only their mother tongue, Xhosa……. and they were grateful that English competency would give their children greater opportunities. They confirmed that they were happy to entrust their children to the Afterschool Care Centre because they felt confident that their children would be well cared for and safe in a nurturing environment.

Two students, Sandra and Thokozili each described their aftercare activities as being varied and interesting; that they have fun learning in the IY Learning Hub – and they especially look forward to the good food – and the ‘tasty sandwiches’…!! Since the Hubs opening, the number of students has risen to 55 – which requires the use of a third classroom and the employment of another teacher.

It will be appreciated that, although there is ‘the bright glow of achievement’, it was in fact an extremely strenuous project which took almost 4 years of continual effort to realise Marlis Schaper’s vision of establishing an exceptional and comprehensive centre for the continuing care of 1-12 year old children of Imizamo Yethu township.

We are especially proud to say that the responsible authorities of the City of Cape Town have finally recognised the need to simplify the process of establishing future community kindergartens and they are thus now ‘on board’ and striving for our extensive and experienced co-operation in this regard.

Over the past 4 years we were particularly grateful for your ongoing trust, you interest and unwavering support which made a lasting impact on our work. Together we can rewrite futures and shape a brighter tomorrow for young people of Imizamo Yethu, because through our care and work every student matters.

In the name of SEEDS Trust and Sara Clarke, we thank you for taking the time to listen to our story of hope and for making a difference by contributing where you can.
Together we are the beacon of hope that many are waiting for.

With heartfelt gratitude,
Elke and Marlis